Question of the Week: How has researching your family history made you more thankful?

+12 votes
388 views

imageHas researching your family history made you more thankful? If so, how?

Please tell us about it with an answer below. You could also use the question image to share your answer with friends and family on social media.

in The Tree House by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (1.8m points)

10 Answers

+15 votes
Some of my ancestors were enslaved, some were killed, many were split and separated from family members (as evidenced by the lack of surname links); however enough survived for me to thrive and do the research to learn the truths and share the knowledge with all the relatives.
by Anita Alexander G2G2 (3.0k points)
+12 votes

Doing research has shown me many of the hardships that my ancestors went through. I especially of think of my second great grandmother Jane Walker. She, with her sister, left Ireland during the potato famine. Sadly, she died of yellow fever at age 39. Another great grandmother and second great grandmother died a few days after childbirth from infection. 

These and so many more things... I had no idea about before doing research. I can not help but be thankful the more I know, especially when it comes to the foods and  modern medicines available. I feel that I am blessed today.

by Alexis Nelson G2G6 Pilot (444k points)
+13 votes
When I think of the global covid pandemic that has affected us all for almost two years, I can't help but think how grateful we can be today that it is possible to be vaccinated against many diseases and that a vaccine was quickly available for this infection, too. When I think of my ancestors in the Harz Mountains or in Schmalkalden, where more than a third of the population died in less than a year during plague epidemics. Families lost 7 out of 10 children within a week - a horror.

The living conditions under which our ancestors lived were in part so frightening that one can only be grateful to be alive today. When I think of my maternal ancestors in the Harz mountains of the 16th to 18th centuries. Hardly any man who worked as a miner lived past the age of 50, many died considerably earlier. Every third woman died in childbirth at that time and many children died of malnutrition.

I wish that more people would do family research to realize how good they actually have it today, instead of always complaining and talking everything down.
by Dieter Lewerenz G2G Astronaut (1.4m points)
+9 votes
I recently read a memoir that had been written by one of my cousins grandmother-- who I guess would also be a cousin for me albeit distantly. Anyway, it was amazing to read about her upbringing and struggles- even more so that she just lived down the highway from here in an area that is now suburban chicagoland.  To me what really stuck out was reading about how the little things mattered so much--  getting to eat a piece of candy which was rare, sitting around and washing the clothes took all day, the connectedness and the gratefulness of the smallest things really struck a chord with me.
by Elizabeth Randerson G2G6 (7.4k points)
+7 votes
It has made me more thankful for the choices that so many of my paternal ancestors have made to make the children's lives and, ultimately, my life better, from leaving their home in Germany in the mid-eighteenth century, to settling in Iowa when it was on the frontier, to seeking land and opportunity in Oklahoma and then leaving that land, which I know they loved, to give their children a chance for a better education.

I am also thankful for how lucky I realize I am for the advantages that I have enjoyed that many others did not.
by Roger Stong G2G6 Pilot (182k points)
+7 votes
Researching my family has made me incredibly thankful for those whose shoulders I stand on... my Grandpa John who served a Iwo Jima during WWII...my Great Great Grandma who stood up in court to tell how she was abused by my GGGrandpa and she wasn't going to take it anymore...my Great Grampa who took on a struggling man in a 50/50 handshake to run the farm for him giving him half the profits for his work...my 5th Great Grandfather who served as a Patriot in the Revolutionary War...my Great Great Grama's Quaker grandfathers who assisted in the Underground Railroad...my Great Great Grandmother who raised 5 children on her own after her husband left her and her grandfather who served in the War of 1812...andmy Great Great Grandfather who married his brother's widow to ensure her and his five nieces and nephews were provided for.  I stand on the shoulders of giants!
by Christine Miller G2G6 (7.0k points)
+4 votes
Thankful that I am not my past, or my family's past. It's good to see how far I've come in my lifetime, and over the generations.
by Eric Weddington G2G6 Pilot (246k points)
+5 votes

Besides the fact that I'm not a war-time refugee or running away from religious persecution I'm incredibly thankful for hot running water at my beck-and-call (so-to-speak) and clothes washing machines; I'm over-the-moon about living in the age of antibiotics and big screen TV's and I absolutely adore living in 'the information age'. laugh

by Leigh Anne Dear G2G6 Mach 6 (69.9k points)
+3 votes
Compared to the hardships my ancestors faced, mine seem so much smaller.
by Diane Godlewski G2G Crew (460 points)
+3 votes
I am grateful to have learned that there were a number of veterans in my family tree on both sides of the family. I'm a vet, as is my older brother, our dad, his dad and some others. I like to also find out what occupations my ancestors worked at. I am also thankful for the work Wiki Tree does for us researchers. It means a lot.
by Edward Clifford G2G Rookie (290 points)

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